Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Year, New You: Creativity

Creativity, conceptual image. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 8 Dec 2015.
Making an annual list of New Year's resolutions is a venerable tradition. By some accounts, it dates back to the ancient Romans, who customarily made a show of promising the god Janus that they would behave better over the next 12 months than they had in the past 12 [source: Huchison]. But while Janus was the patron deity of new beginnings, he also provided a convenient excuse. If a citizen of Rome didn't actually follow through with his various self-improvement vows, he could always shrug it off by explaining that it was Janus' will [source: Chicago Institute]. Then, presumably, he could just go on gorging himself at banquets or betting excessively on gladiator fights.
~Patrick J. Kiger, "10 New Year's Resolutions You Might Actually Keep"

Happy New Year! We hope your plans for 2016 include embracing creativity! "You can be creative in math, science, music, dance, cuisine, teaching, running a family, or engineering. Because creativity is a process of having original ideas that have value. A big part of being creative is looking for new ways of doing things within whatever activity you're involved in," creativity expert and author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, Sir Ken Robinson, reminds us. He stresses that we need creativity more than ever - because of the challenges facing the world right now; because of the unpredictability we face; and "to promote and teach—collaborating and benefiting from diversity rather than promoting homogeneity". If you are not convinced, try watching some of the TED talks from Steve Jobs, Frank Gehry, and others about the importance of creativity. Or, embrace the theory of some scientists who say international travel and living abroad can enhance creativity! We like that theory.

We have compiled a list of some books that encourage creativity and creative thinking for your perusal. Hope these stimulate you to get innovative! Remember, 

A creative process may begin with a flash of a new idea or with a hunch. It may just start as noodling around with a problem, getting some fresh ideas along the way. It's a process, not a single event, and genuine creative processes involve critical thinking as well as imaginative insights and fresh ideas. But creativity isn't just about coming up with new ideas; some ideas might be completely crazy and impractical. So an essential bit of every creative process is evaluation.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

What We Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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